Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Outsiders" rejects

In my first, incomplete draft of Outsiders from Oz, I was trying too hard to write in a Baum-like tone. Still, there were a few little parts that I didn't use in the final version that I still like.

The first draft did not have Ozma's journeys at all, but I still wrote the Sawhorse out of being able to help the Wizard and Button-Bright. I had originally planned to do a separate story in which Ozma and the Scarecrow would go investigate some odd occurrences and meet some very strange people, but my editor insitsted I make Ozma's tale part of Outsiders and furthermore weave the two tales together. That worked.

Here's some excerpts from that first draft. A description of the Valley of Mo for those unfamiliar with The Magical Monarch of Mo. A little of this made it into the final version, but it's very cut down and re-worked there. Very much, I had to keep my exposition to what the story needed, and I think the final version does that very well.
If you've never heard of the Valley of Mo, I suppose I should tell of it. No one dies in Mo, and no one grows older. Food and necessities grow on trees and bushes, so the people are happy and contented, having little to worry about. All animals there can talk, and are held in as much regard as the people. Sweet and perfectly flavored lemonade falls from the sky when it rains, and when it snows, the people are ready to receive perfectly buttered popcorn. There is very little water to be found in Mo, for most people drink root beer from the river, or other drinks from streams and springs.

Lest you think the people were unhealthy, let me assure you, they were not. Since all food found in Mo is natural, it is much more wholesome than the food we have in our countries. In fact, the Valley of Mo supplies Santa Claus with candy for him to give out, and this is why your Christmas candy always tastes much better than any other kind.

The Monarch and his wife had ruled Mo for many years, and no one can remember when they did not rule the Valley. While their sons sometimes wish they were king instead of their father, they have learned to be content and enjoy that they would never have to hold court.
A little bit of gOZsip going on. I really don't like how the prose reads, but I do like the joke about the Tin Woodman's vanity. The description of the Scarecrow, however, did resurface in the final version, word for word. This is from when I tried to write Ozma in by inserting new chapters before we wound up starting over again from scratch, which turned into the final version you can read in the finished book.
That evening, while the Wizard and Button-Bright prepared to leave south, Ozma was delighted to have a visit by her old friend, the Scarecrow.

A long time ago, the Scarecrow had been a common scarecrow, until Dorothy found him and took him to meet the Wizard, who gave him some brains. When the Wizard left the Emerald City, the Scarecrow was left in charge until he helped Glinda find Ozma. Since then, he had been living happily in the Winkie Country, just west of the Emerald City.

Ozma and Princess Dorothy relaxed in the parlor as the Scarecrow entered.

"Good evening, your Majesty!" he said as he entered, bowing low, then needing to be helped back up. He sat down across from the two girls.

"How is the Winkie Country these days?" asked Ozma. "I haven't visited in awhile."

"Oh, it was a big to-do a couple weeks ago!" the Scarecrow chortled. "Some of the Tin Woodman's nickel plate flaked off and he had to get re-plated!"

"Why couldn't he just get the spot covered up again?" asked Dorothy, already guessing the answer.

"He tried, but it didn't match the rest of the plating, so he had to be plated all over again."
Again, too much exposition here. I go into great detail about what the Wizard and Button-Bright have in their knapsacks when this bit of detail is going to be very unnecessary.
Button-Bright and the Wizard could not use the Red Wagon, because Ozma required the Sawhorse, so they traveled by foot. Button-Bright usually wandered, so he didn't usually carry provisions, but this time, he was wearing a knapsack filled with necessities. A magic charm could clean his clothes clean, in case he didn't have a spare change for a long time, and ever since his friend Ojo had arrived in the Emerald City, never-ending bread and cheese had become a staple for travelers. Using a similar charm, the Wizard had made a bottle of water that never emptied, because even in a fairyland, some water might not be safe to drink. Indeed, with the possibility of magic water anywhere, one had to be careful of the water they used to drink and bathe in. There was no charm to keep someone from needing a bath, except a bar of soap that Jellia Jamb had tucked in.
Finally, here's a bit I wrote about the Forest of Burzee that I wrote down, intending to have Ozma talk about it at some point. That point never came, so here it is.
"What is it like?"
"It's a beautiful, green place, where trees grow strong and healthy, almost halfway to the sky. The grass and moss are as soft as down, and all animals live in peace."
"Do you think we'll wind up there?"
"I don't know where we'll find ourselves."
"Well, it sounds like a nice place to find yourself."
"It is."
 You can see the finished story in Outsiders from Oz.

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